Service is an Action Word
By: Chaunda Allen Mitchell, PhD
Former United States Representative Ms. Shirley Chisolm once said, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” This quote conveys the significance of selflessness and service to others as an integral part of living a meaningful and purposeful life. It suggests that we have a responsibility to contribute positively to the world and make a difference by serving others. During the past eight years, Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards have focused their attention squarely on the people of Louisiana. Through our office, the Governor’s Office of Programs and Planning, we have been able to work cooperatively and collaboratively with multiple agencies and civic and social leaders to ensure that Louisiana’s families and children remain at the forefront. The work we have done has initiated change on a systemic level. This has also allowed us to connect to our citizens in a way that has promoted trust, integrity and confidence both within and outside of the Governor’s Office— from providing thousands of backpacks and school supplies to children throughout the state at the beginning of the school year and hosting events such as the “Fathering Together” Fatherhood Summit, the annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference and the Governor’s Outstanding Leadership in Disabilities (GOLD) Awards to pay tribute to the achievements and dedication of individuals in the disability community to most recently providing hygiene kits for young adults. The synergy that has been created by the service we provide has been an opportunity to build stronger communities and hopefully leave them better than when we first encountered them. We also hope that we have proven through our actions that service to others involves our hearts and our attitudes. Very simply put, it involves love. It has been a privilege to serve Governor Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards. On behalf of the staff in the Governor’s Office of Programs and Planning, I want to thank you for allowing us to pay it forward through our service to the great people of Louisiana. May God continue to bless each of you.
Dr. Chaunda Allen Mitchell, PhD
Dr. Chaunda Mitchell is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Planning in the Office of Governor John Bel Edwards. In this role, she works with a team of dedicated leaders who proudly serve the people of Louisiana through programs and policy initiatives that touch areas such as the Children’s Cabinet, Human Trafficking, Drug Policy, Disability Affairs, and Indian Affairs.